[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 88 (Wednesday, May 7, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26246-26247]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10348]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9910-47-Region-3]


Adequacy Status of the Submitted Maintenance Plan for the 
Maryland Portion of the Martinsburg-Hagerstown, WV-MD 1997 Fine 
Particulate National Ambient Air Quality Standard Nonattainment Area 
for Transportation Conformity Purposes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of adequacy.

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SUMMARY: In this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
notifying the public that EPA has found that the motor vehicle 
emissions budgets (MVEBs) in the Maryland portion of the Martinsburg-
Hagerstown, WV-MD 1997 Fine Particulate (PM2.5) National 
Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) Nonattainment Area Maintenance 
Plan (Hagerstown Maintenance Plan), submitted as a State Implementation 
Plan (SIP) revision by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), 
are adequate for transportation conformity purposes. As a result of 
EPA's finding, the State of Maryland must use the 2017 and 2025 MVEBs 
from the Hagerstown Maintenance Plan for future conformity 
determinations for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES: Effective on May 22, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Becoat, Physical Scientist, 
Office of Air Program Planning (3AP30), United States Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 
19103, (215) 814-2036; [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Today's notice is simply an announcement of 
a finding that EPA has already made. EPA Region III sent a letter to 
MDE on April 3, 2014, stating that EPA has found that the MVEBs in the 
Hagerstown Maintenance Plan for budget years 2017 and 2025, submitted 
on December 23, 2013 by MDE, are adequate for transportation conformity 
purposes. As a result of EPA's finding, the State of Maryland must use 
the 2017 and 2025 MVEBs from the December 23, 2013 Hagerstown 
Maintenance Plan for future conformity determinations in the Maryland 
portion of the Martinsburg-Hagerstown, WV-MD 1997 PM2.5 
NAAQS Nonattainment Area. Receipt of the submittal was announced on 
EPA's transportation conformity Web site. No comments were received. 
The findings letter is available at EPA's conformity

[[Page 26247]]

Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm. The adequate direct particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen 
oxides (NOX) MVEBs are provided in Table 1.

     Table 1--On-Road MVEBs Contained in the Maryland Portion of the
 Martinsburg-Hagerstown, WV-MD 1997 PM[ihel2].[ihel5] Nonattainment Area
          Maintenance Plan for the 1997 PM[ihel2].[ihel5] NAAQS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Mobile vehicle
                                         Motor vehicle       emissions
                                        emissions budget  budget for NOX
                 Year                         for             on-road
                                       PM[ihel2].[ihel5]     emissions
                                       on-road emissions     (tons per
                                        (tons per year)        year)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017.................................            149.63         4,057.00
2025.................................             93.35         2,774.63
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    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the 
Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA's conformity rule requires that transportation 
plans, transportation improvement programs, and projects conform to 
SIPs and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining 
whether or not they do. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation 
activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing 
violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air 
quality standards.
    The criteria by which we determine whether a SIP's MVEBs are 
adequate for conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). 
EPA described the process for determining the adequacy of submitted SIP 
budgets in a July 1, 2004 preamble starting at 69 FR 40038 and used the 
information in these resources in making this adequacy determination. 
The State of Maryland did not provide emission budgets for sulfur 
dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or ammonia 
for the Hagerstown Maintenance Plan because it concluded that emissions 
of these precursors from motor vehicles are not significant 
contributors to the area's PM2.5 air quality problem. The 
transportation conformity rule provision at 40 CFR 93.102(b)(2)(v) 
indicates that conformity does not apply for these precursors, due to 
the lack of motor vehicle emissions budgets for these precursors and 
state's conclusion that motor vehicle emissions of SO2, 
VOCs, and ammonia do not contribute significantly to the area's 
PM2.5 nonattainment problem. This provision of the 
transportation conformity rule predates and was not disturbed by the 
January 4, 2013 decision in the litigation on the PM2.5 
implementation rule.\1\ EPA has preliminarily concluded that Maryland's 
decision to not include budgets for SO2, VOCs, and ammonia 
is consistent with the requirements of the transportation conformity 
rule. That decision does not affect EPA's adequacy finding for the 
submitted direct PM and NOX MVEBs for the Hagerstown 
Maintenance Plan.
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    \1\ EPA issued conformity regulations to implement the 1997 
PM2.5 NAAQS (69 FR 40004, July 1, 2004 and 70 FR 24280, 
May 6, 2005, respectively). Those actions were not part of the final 
rule recently remanded to EPA by the Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia in NRDC v. EPA, No. 08-1250 (January 4, 2013), 
in which the Court remanded to EPA the implementation rule for the 
PM2.5 NAAQS because it concluded that EPA must implement 
that NAAQS pursuant to the PM-specific implementation provisions of 
subpart 4 of Part D of Title I of the CAA, rather than solely under 
the general provisions of subpart 1.
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    Please note that an adequacy review is separate from EPA's 
completeness review, and should not be used to prejudge EPA's ultimate 
approval action for the SIP. Even if EPA finds the budgets for the 
Hagerstown Maintenance Plan adequate, the SIP could later be 
disapproved. The finding and the response to comments are available at 
EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm.

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

    Dated: April 25, 2014.
W.C. Early,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
[FR Doc. 2014-10348 Filed 5-6-14; 8:45 am]
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